Customize airport security checks for differently abled

Indian airports should put in place enhanced security checks such as full body scanners to ensure that differently abled passengers do not have to take off their prosthetics at all or rise from their wheelchairs unless further inspection is required. These were some of the demands put forth by representatives of disabled individuals on Wednesday.

In a meeting with the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), airlines and airport operators, the representatives asked for checks through explosive trace detectors (ETD), pat-down checks and full body scanners so that disabled passengers can go through checks without much discomfort. The BCAS convened the meeting to seek suggestions from various organizations and individuals who work for the rights of disabled individuals, before drafting a standard operating procedure (SOP) for their security checks.

The representatives also demanded a separate enclosure or a room, if checks involve lifting of clothes. “This procedure should always take place in a closed private room or setting, as it may involve lifting of clothes or exposure of sensitive areas,” said Muralidharan, assistant convenor, National Platform for the Rights of Disabled.

Muralidharan added that the suggestions included letting wheelchair-bound passengers use their own equipment instead of shifting to airline wheelchairs, giving passengers the option of a separate room or enclosure even during patdown checks, availability of chairs and walking aids for disabled passengers who might be more comfortable sitting during the screening.

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